After decades of a low-simmering discussion about changing the name of Squaw Valley Ski Resort to something not based on a offensive slur, last year’s nationwide movement to examine place names in the wake of the George Floyd protests cranked those talks to a roiling boil. The resort announced they’d be changing the name from Squaw Valley to…something else in time for this winter. (You can read a fairly extensive report about the term “squaw” put together by the resort, here.)
Today, they announced the change: Palisades Tahoe.
Palisades is the name of a cherished bit of terrain at the resort, so longtime visitors will know instantly the significance of the name. The resort also debuted a new logo and word mark:
“This name change reflects who we are as a ski resort and community—we have a reputation for being progressive and boundary-breaking when it comes to feats of skiing and snowboarding,” said Palisades Tahoe President and COO Dee Byrne.
The organization spent a year in discussions with the local Washoe Tribe, consulted focus groups, industry leaders, and resident skiers before settling on the new name.
“Anyone who spends time at these mountains can feel the passion of our dedicated skiers and riders. It’s electric, exciting, reverential, and incredibly motivating,” said Ron Cohen, former president and COO of Palisades Tahoe. “However, no matter how deep, meaningful, and positive these feelings are and no matter how much our guests don’t intend to offend anyone, it is not enough to justify continuing to operate under a name that is deeply offensive to indigenous people across North America. We were compelled to change the name because it’s the right thing to do, especially for the generations yet to come, who will grow up without having to use a slur to identify the place where they chase their dreams down the mountain. We know how much people love this place, and so we spent more than a year making sure that we were doing right by the community in choosing a name that would honor the past and reach out to the future. I am so grateful to the Palisades Tahoe team for their dedication to writing the next chapter of the resort’s storied history.”
Washoe culture will be reflected at least somewhat, according to a press release from the resort, through cultural tours and a partnership with the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California.
Nearby Alpine Meadows, under the same umbrella of ownership, will keep its name.
While the Palisades Tahoe resort’s name is official, it will take several years to complete the full rebrand, according to the resort, with ski lifts, among other things, needing new names as well.